This year seems to be all about my role as an artist in this global community. What do I have to show? What is my vision? Sometimes I feel overwhelmed…how can I possibly make a difference? Why should anyone care? Pretty depressing questions for an artist like me who does best working from a place of inspiration.
I was really depressed one early May morning. These questions were slamming around in my head. The best way to pull myself out of a funk is to go for a walk around Mt. Tabor and the reservoirs so I hauled myself up to the park.
I wanted to march around the lower reservoir – my favorite – but construction was in full swing and the noise only made my personal cacophony worse. So, I headed up to the upper reservoir. As I trudged around the narrow path, I discovered the reservoir drained and men spraying the pit out with giant prehistoric python hoses. For crying out loud! Can’t a girl find some peace???
Now I was really feeling sorry for myself. I just wanted some time to think. I just wanted some clarity about my vision. I just wanted a sign. Not even Ms. Muse was surfacing to give me a swift kick out of this funk. But, I knew I was on some sort of a quest. I was here so I’d have to put up with the annoying distractions.
Around the backside of the reservoir, the sign flew in front of my face. A red tailed hawk.
“What?” I grumbled, keenly aware that the men with the python hoses would think me completely mad for conversing with a hawk. The hawk flew to a clump of bushes and back to the post in front of me. I just stood there like a dolt while it flew to the same clump of bushes and back to me two more times.
Finally, I realized I was supposed to check out the hill. Doh! I marched up the steep bank to the clump. I didn’t see anything except for some blackberry bushes, a clump of heather, grasses and weeds. I turned back around to ask the hawk WHAT again, but it was gone.
Luckily, I was curious. My mood was lifting. Anything to derail this morose state. I pulled myself up the steep bank and onto the path above. Nothing. But, wait…in the trees…something bright, colorful, shiny. Something green – my favorite color. It must be a lost, loved dog toy someone hung in the tree.
It wasn’t a dog toy. It was a beautiful bell with a shiny bright green heart – just like mine! I reached up and read the tag: “You have found a Ben’s Bell. Take it home, hang it in your yard, and remember to spread kindness throughout our world.” Of course I burst into tears and looked around to see if the men with the snakey hoses were watching. Not one witness but the hawk overhead.
Of course, being eager for more signs I marched to the top of Mt. Tabor, but my gift had been received. I knew on the way back down the mountain that my art must be an expression of my green heart. I’ve always had a green heart. I’ve just never shared it. This is how I was called to start gallery verno, an online art gallery that sells sustainable fine art. Every day, as I walk into the studio, I ring my green-hearted bell.
All of this because of a beautiful, little boy named Ben who died too soon. His parents created Ben’s Bells to symbolize kindness and its power in healing. They hope that the bells will touch others’ lives and help to make our community a more gentle place to live. Thank you, Ben, for your inspiration.